If Congress is to impose regulations and laws on U.S. citizens, it is important that those citizens are made aware of how they come to be. Cutting red tape and opening the regulatory process to scrutiny is an important step in holding government accountable to all Americans.
Therefore, I proudly introduced S. 299 the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2011 (REINS Act) along with 12 of my Senate colleagues on Feb. 7, 2011, as it is designed to increase accountability for and transparency in the Federal regulatory process. A companion REINS Act was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives at the same time by my fellow Kentuckian, Geoff Davis.
I have been working to bring light to more regulatory issues here in the Senate. On October 12, 2011 I hosted a hearing on, "PROPERTY WRONGS: A Discussion With the Victims of the U.S. Government's Assault on Private Property," to bring to light a few of many instances of overreach by federal agencies. Coming to Washington this year it was one of my main goals to take our government back from the unelected bureaucrats who are trampling our freedom and rights. After meeting with several individuals who fell victim to this injustice, I felt compelled to hold a hearing and for them personally to share with Congress their unfortunate experiences. In attendance were 10 witnesses who provided powerful testimonies of regulatory abuse and a dozen Members of Congress who delivered questions and comments.
Witnesses included Henry Juszkiewicz, CEO of Gibson Guitars; Mike and Chantell Sackett of Idaho, whose current battle with the EPA is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court this winter; Victoria Pozsgai-Khoury of Pennsylvania, who was representing her father's continuing battle with EPA over erroneous wetland regulations; Peter Nimrod, chief engineer of the Mississippi Levee Board, currently suing EPA to allow for a pumping station in the Mississippi Delta region; and John and Judy Dollarhite of Missouri, rabbit breeders whose side business was shut down and fined exorbitantly by the USDA. While the members of the House and Senate present at the hearing, included Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and Reps. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) and Connie Mack IV (R-Fla.), to deliver questions and comments to the attending witnesses.
Each of the 10 witnesses was allotted 5 to 10 minutes to share their personal testimony. After the witness finished, a panel of Senators and Congress would then subsequently comment or question the individuals. The first witness to open the roundtable discussion was Henry Juszkiewicz, CEO of Gibson Guitars.
I plan on introducing legislation to combat the issues the aforementioned witnesses have had to deal with.